MORGANTOWN — Former West Virginia University wide receiver Marcus Simms is now officially a pro. After going undrafted in the NFL’s supplemental draft on Wednesday, Simms signed as an undrafted free agent with the Jacksonville Jaguars, per a report by NFL Network’s Tom Pelissaro, pending a passed physical. Simms, who played three seasons at WVU, opted to enter the supplemental draft after it was deemed he wouldn’t be academically eligible to play for the Mountaineers this fall. Simms finished his three-year WVU career with 87 receptions for 1,457 yards and eight touchdowns in 33 games.
The West Virginia University gymnastics coaching staff announced on Tuesday that Kayla Yancey and Maya Kraus will join the program this fall.
“We are thrilled that Kayla and Maya have chosen WVU and want to be Mountaineers,” associate head coach Travis Doak said. “They join an already strong 2019 class, and we believe they will make an immediate impact.”
A native of Hatfield, Pennsylvania, Yancey graduated early from North Penn High and will join her sister, Kianna, this fall at WVU. Kianna signed with the Mountaineers in November 2018.
A four-year level 10 gymnast out of Montgomery County Sports Performance Center, Yancey is a two-time Junior Olympics National Championships qualifier who finished fifth on floor exercise and seventh on vault and uneven bars in 2017.
“We’re excited Kayla will join WVU gymnastics a year early and will experience her freshman season alongside her sister, Kianna,” Doak explained. “Kayla is a great athlete with a great air sense and high skill level on each event. We feel she can make an immediate impact on multiple lineups. Kayla’s personality will significantly contribute to the team’s chemistry. Her passion and desire for WVU and WVU gymnastics is unmatched.”
Most recently, Yancey earned three podium finishes at the 2018 Region 7 Level 10 Championships, winning the all-around and placing second on balance beam and floor exercise. She also finished fourth on uneven bars and fifth on vault. Prior to the regional championships, Yancey finished first in the all-around, second on vault, third on floor exercise and fourth on bars at the 2018 Pennsylvania Level 10 State Meet.
Yancey claimed the uneven bars title at the 2017 Region 7 Level 10 Championships, where she also finished second on floor exercise and fourth in the all-around. She also finished third on uneven bars and floor exercise at the 2017 Pennsylvania Level 10 State Championships.
Yancey shows career highs of 9.7 on floor exercise, 9.675 on vault and 9.625 on uneven bars. She is the daughter of William and Kori Yancey.
A two-year level 10 gymnast out of Rochester Gymnastics Academy, Kraus is a native of Fairport, New York, and a two-time Junior Olympics National Championships qualifier.
“Maya is a dynamic gymnast who should immediately impact our vault lineup,” Doak said. “She has the ability to perform a great vault while sticking her landings time and time again. Her gymnastics continues to improve as she gets older, and we are thrilled to help her maximize her abilities and impact multiple lineups. Maya’s sense of humor and the connection she has already established with the team make her a great fit for WVU.”
Kraus earned four top-10 finishes at the 2019 Level 10 Region 6 Championships, wining the vault title and placing fourth on floor exercise, sixth in the all-around and seventh on balance beam. She prepared for the championships with a winning showing on vault at the 2019 New York Level 10 State Championships, where she also placed seventh on floor exercise and 10th in the all-around and on uneven bars. Also in 2019, Kraus finished third on vault at the WOGA Classic/Liukin Invitational.
Last season, Kraus earned five top-10 finishes at the Region 6 Level 10 Championships, placing third on vault, fifth on floor exercise, seventh in the all-around, eighth on balance beam and 10th on uneven bars. She also captured the state vault title and finished third in the all-around and on vault and fifth on floor exercise.
Kraus shows a career high of 9.575 on vault.
The daughter of Adrian and Oksana Kraus, she graduated from Fairport High.
The West Virginia University tennis program added a new member to its coaching staff as coach Miha Lisac announced the hiring of assistant coach Jacob Eddins.
“We are very excited to welcome Jacob and his wife, Michaela, and their children to the Mountaineer family,” Lisac said. “Jacob brings a wealth of coaching experience, recruiting connections and the Mountaineer mentality to help us on our journey to build one of the top programs in the Big 12 conference. We are thrilled to get them on their way and get into the season soon.”
“I’m so excited to be joining Coach Miha Lisac and the Mountaineer family! When this positioned opened, I thought what an unbelievable opportunity this would be to be so close to home and be a part of the Big 12, which has grown into one of the most competitive conferences in the country,” Eddins said. “I would like to thank head coach Miha Lisac as well as Director of Athletics Shane Lyons for providing me this opportunity to come back home to West Virginia. I look forward to helping build something special here at WVU and help this program continue to reach new heights. I would also like to thank my wife, Michaela, who has been in my corner from day one and supported me throughout this entire process! I can’t wait to get to Morgantown.”
A native of Huntington, Eddins comes to Morgantown after serving as the assistant coach at Auburn for one year. Prior to the 2018-19 season, he served as the associate head coach at Western Carolina, where he helped oversee one of the most successful stretches in WCU history that included a school-record win total in 2016.
Eddins’ coaching career also includes stops at Pittsburgh, Cornell and Marshall.
Before his time at Marshall, he was a two-time West Virginia high school state singles champion, as well as the doubles state champion his senior year.
Eddins graduated from Marshall University in 2008 with a degree in business management and a minor in marketing.
He and his wife, Michaela Kissell-Eddins, have three children, Kylie, Gavin and Jayce.
Junior David Koenders of the West Virginia University rifle team earned two top-20 finishes at the 2019 Summer World University Games, in Napoli, Italy.
On July 6, Koenders, a native of Mossautal, Germany, finished 20th in the men’s 10m air rifle with a score of 620.1 (102.7, 102.5, 103.3, 103.0, 104.0, 104.6).
Two days later, Koenders partnered with Jana Erstfeld to represent Germany in the mixed team 10m air rifle competition. The pair placed 11th overall with a score of 620.9.
The Summer World University Games are an international university and cultural event held every two years in a different city. Drawing thousands of student-athletes, the Games are one of the largest multi-sport events in the world.
Three West Virginia University women’s soccer newcomers have been named to the Canadian Women’s Soccer U-20 National Team for a three-match international series.
Defender Julianne Vallerand, midfielder Aaliyah Scott and goalkeeper Kayza Massey will represent Canada, the trio’s first appointment to the U-20 squad. All three previously played for the U-17 team, with Vallerand and Scott also earning time with the U-15 team.
The team will face Northern Ireland on July 13 before kicking against England again on July 16.
All three Mountaineers arrived in Morgantown in June in preparation for the 2019 season.